Feeling “Unfit”: My Postpartum Fitness Journey


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Crystal Paterson

To be honest, I hate the gym. I hate running, and I’m not for lifting weights and all that other stuff everyone else seems to enjoy. Crossfit scares me, spin classes sound hard and don’t even get me started on jogging. And after giving birth, none of it seemed to be any more enjoyable. My postpartum fitness journey was a hard one because I didn’t enjoy much “workouts” before, but I’m getting there.

When I started University, I swam before class every so often. More during one week or the other and that was pretty much all the exercise commitment I needed. Walking across campus to my different classes 5 days a week was enough to make up for any other exercising. Plus who has time for going to the gym with a full course load and work? It worked for me, at that time in my life.

Now, this is my postpartum fitness journey. It’s taken me longer than I thought it would have to get back into the swing of things in terms of exercise. After a year, I’m nowhere near where I’d thought I’d be. Of course, it’s different for everyone, and your experiences may look different, but as I work through mine, I thought I’d share it with you.

So fast forward a couple of years, and a relatively inactive pregnancy (due to my complications which I touched on here) and a bouncing baby boy, I’m feeling a little “unfit”. I’m also lacking any motivation to get my butt moving.

If you’re like me and start heaving as you climb up the stairs. Going in public to exercise where everyone can hear you – not exactly appealing. So I’ve taken to some more quieter, less public options than the gym. Luckily there were more than I thought. Yoga, swimming, walking with the stroller and different programs and boot camps that are designed just for you. You can do them at home and out of the public eye that are all great options.

My Favorite Activities:

Yoga – thank goodness for @yogawithadrienne and her awesome videos! Just type in yoga into YouTube and you’ve got your instructor right there on your phone. There are some awesome apps out there too like Asana Rebel. What I love most about doing Yoga at home – I’m not worried about keeping up, I can always rewind. As well as having my son crawling around me, pulling himself up on top of me makes it all that much better. I don’t get totally into it like I do when I go to the studio, but sometimes it’s nice to have both options.

Walking and jogging, yes I hate running, but sometimes I convince myself to go for a jog and I don’t always hate it. Walking with my son, on the other hand, is always nice. Family walks are also great. Basically, anything to get me moving is a great way for me to get out of that “unfit” frame of mind. Walking is a slow pace, an enjoyable option to get moving. You have no idea what that sense of accomplishment after a long walk pushing the stroller around can do for your frame of mind. Swimming is also a great way for me to get moving. It uses more muscles and is my “alternative” to lifting weights – because that’s not my thing.

While walking and swimming are public, there are lots of different at home workouts and programs too. They can help you stick with a schedule which is a good way to keep you accountable, provide support and training too – depending on the plan you find. Some also have meal plans and different things to help you get the full support and assistance that you may need. To help change habits and better take care of yourself. A friend of mine, @kaitlyn_m_williams is part of an amazing online community that has great workouts you can do from home. They eliminate all the guesswork for your workouts and make it super convenient for you. It comes with nutrition guides, meal plans, and a calendar to know which workout is when. If you’re interested, check out her Instagram and you can reach her at kaitmotivate@gmail.com. Ask her all your questions. She’s an awesome mama of one, with one on the way and will motivate you through your whole boot camp journey.

These options are all my way of starting to take better care of myself. To get away from that feeling of “unfit.” Not only is physical activity important for me to start feeling that, but eating better is also super important. However, I love sweets and bread and because of that eating better is hard for me, and it’s probably not going as well as it should, but I’ll keep you posted.

As you may have noticed I used quotations around unfit throughout my post because I think feeling and being “unfit” is different for everyone. There can be different circumstances that can make you feel “unfit”, for me, it was my body postpartum. My body looks different than it used to. My clothes fit differently, but it doesn’t mean I’m not fit or healthy. It just means I changed, and to get back to where I was, I need to work at it.

I’ve learned, in my personal journey that I can’t let things like this get in the way of how I feel about myself.I definitely can’t compare myself to others. I have to love my body for growing and protecting my son. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone was made differently, experiences things different and because of that, the notion of being “unfit” doesn’t have a threshold or a measure. If YOU feel unfit – do something about it. Love yourself and take care of yourself but don’t compare yourself to others and their fitness journeys, because their notion of being “unfit” can be different than yours. 

You know you, and if you need to start or do better exercising and taking care of yourself than you need to do it. Find something you enjoy that’s active and go from there. Start with small fitness goals, and work your way up. You got this!

Love Crystal 

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  1. Mariam

    Oh yes, the postpartum body. I can definitely relate to this. I used to hate the way I looked after giving birth. I am still not in the place I want to be, but I am learning to accept it all, the good and the bad.

    • Crystal Paterson

      Agreed, I always remind myself of the wonderful changes my body went through to bring my precious son into the world! What you did was amazing mama! We should be proud! ❤️

  2. Valerie

    I can relate to this even though I really enjoy working out. It is hard to find time and motivation when you are a new mom. I joined a stroller workout group with moms who are very similar to me in my postpartum journey. I too do not care for the gym. You should check out PopSugar Fitness on YouTube; I enjoy their workouts too. 🙂

    • Crystal Paterson

      Oh I will for sure have to check them out!


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